"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness."
"Forgiveness heals our soul..."
"Forgiveness is serious business because it transforms life."
Forgiveness is the most important lesson we have to learn in life! We liberate ourselves of all kinds of negative emotions when we learn to forgive ourselves and forgive others. It's not healthy (physically, emotionally and spiritually) to hold on to resentments, guilt, anger and other type of negative feelings - that just drains our energy. It's imperative to learn to let go of all that baggage and pain.
We also have to learn not to take things so personally all the time. If you feel very hurt when someone says something mean, deep inside you believe what they are saying about you. Ignore insecure people that try to give you their poison and just try to make you feel bad (because of their low self-esteem). They feel powerful by putting others down, especially when others accept their insults - when they see the reaction they caused. Let's rise above their negative attitudes and not allow their words to affect us so much. Forgive their ignorance…
Of course that doesn't mean that you have to put up with verbal abuse from others, especially when they are close to you (a parent, a sibling, a friend). Communicate your feelings honestly and tell them that you cannot put up with their bad behavior and negative attitude anymore - but you don't have to go down to their level and verbally abuse them too! They want to upset you - and that's very immature on their part. It's not going to make you feel any better to act like them. Tell them that if they are so upset to go take a walk and calm down first; then you can talk peacefully about what is bothering them and what is bothering you; but that you won't accept being treated badly (remember: you have to teach them how to treat you). And if they don't want to listen to you, or you feel that there's no point in talking to them; at least express your feelings in a letter (even if you don't give it to them) - it helps to put things in writing, get all those negative feelings out somehow and let go of them (do not keep them bottled up inside you). Imagine that you are talking to the person that is upsetting you and expressing to her/him how you feel and then just forgive them, for being human, for being a "pain", for whatever! Try you best to concentrate in their good qualities (their good side) and believe that things will change for the better. If they don't change, then stay away from them - but don't hold any grudges inside.
Henry Grayson, a prominent New York psychologist, wrote a very interesting book: "Mindful Loving". He emphasizes the importance of our beliefs and thoughts in relationships. He basically says that relationships succeed or fail according to how we think about them "we have to go upstream to what we're thinking - to the beliefs and behavior that come from our thoughts - instead of trying to change our emotions or other people's behavior." He says that David Bohm - who wrote "Quantum Theory" - turned his life upside down. "Bohm helped me understand that the reality we perceive is a tiny fraction of the universe as it really exists. At an invisible level, everything and everyone is interconnected in a most profound way, not only as human beings but as energy, mind, and matter."
He explains that "our core beliefs lead to thought constellations, which lead to perceptions, give rise to emotions, and cause domino-like outward behavior." Like I've said all along, pay attention to your beliefs and thoughts, they are powerful!
Joel Osteen in his book: "Your Best Life Now" explains: "We can't live with poison inside us and not expect it to eventually do us harm. Face it. Forgiveness is the key to being free from toxic bitterness. Get rid of all that poison. Don't let the root of bitterness grow deeper and continue to contaminate your life. You are not forgiving for their sake, you are forgiving for your sake." You are forgiving so that you can be free. "Forgive so that you can be made whole. Forgiveness is a choice, but it is not an option."
Leo Buscaglia wrote in his book "Loving Each Other": "Of course, forgiving is not an easy process. Our rational mind is not sufficient to instantaneously break through the intricate web of feelings which overcome us when we are wronged. It seems more simple to look for ways to escape our pain. Rather than deal with it, we blame, we accuse, we condemn, we exclude, we damn. Forgiveness can never be realized in an atmosphere of accusation, condemnation, anger and fault finding."
"The practice of forgiveness can play an important role in your relationships with others. Forgiveness will enable you to correct distortions in your relationships and to improve the quality, intensity, and meaningfulness of relationships. It means letting go of past resentments toward others so that you can experience them in the present. Even if you do not "feel" like forgiving someone, forgiving them will release you from the hold of the past and allow you to experience the world in a new way. To forgive is to step outside the vicious circle of interpretation, where concepts from the past dominate experience, and to begin to live in terms of a larger, more worthy purpose. Forgiveness eliminates fear and anxiety, weakness and vulnerability."
"Asking for forgiveness and forgiving others is a complicated process that involves our deepest empathy, humanity and wisdom. Historically we have found that without forgiveness there can be no lasting love; no change, no growth, no real freedom (no peace)..."
"God heals through forgiveness and asks that we do likewise. Attack is an easier response than forgiveness, and that is why we are so tempted to give into it. Throughout our lives we have seen more anger than examples of true forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts . . . Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Attack thoughts towards others are attack thoughts towards ourselves. The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive."
"We will only begin to forgive when we can look upon the wrongdoers as ourselves, neither better nor worse. It is only in identifying with the other that the processes of understanding and forgiveness can begin."
"You must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a matter of form; but sincerely, in your heart - and that is the long and the short of it. You do this, not for the other person's sake, but for your own sake. It will make no difference to him (unless he happens to set a value upon your forgiveness), but it will make a tremendous difference to you. Resentment, condemnation, anger, desire to see someone punished are things that rot your soul, no matter how cleverly you may be disguising them. Such things, because they have a much stronger emotional content than anyone suspects, fasten your troubles to you with rivets. They fetter you to many other problems which actually have nothing whatever to do with the original grievances themselves. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to like the delinquent or want to meet him; but that you must wish him well. Of course you must not make a "door mat" of yourself. Of course you must not allow yourself to be imposed upon, or ill treated. You must fight your own battles and fight them with prayer, justice, and good will. It does not matter whether you can forget the injury or not, although if you cease to rehearse it you probably will - but you must forgive.
Emmet Fox (from "Make Your Life Worthwhile")
Learn to forgive...